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MARTHA SEZ: ‘Knock it off and pick up some flowers.’

February 14, 2020
By MARTHA ALLEN , Lake Placid News

The full moon is shining in through my window as I type this column for Valentine's Day.

It is very early in the morning. Across the street, huge plow trucks are clearing mountainous piles of snow in the moonlight. They are loading what must be tons of snow into dump trucks that cart it off somewhere. I imagine this is happening all over town. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the lustre of midday to objects below, in the words of Clement Clarke Moore. This is the time of year that we have the snow everybody wanted for Christmas.

Valentine's Day gifts are different from Christmas gifts. Cards, flowers and chocolates are traditional, as are romantic dinners. The trouble with making dinner for people these days, for any occasion, is that it is so difficult to figure out what your guests will eat.

In the past, there were fewer choices. People are becoming so particular. I remember my daughter when she was little, sitting on the kitchen counter keeping me company as I made dinner, a black olive on each of her fingers. Every so often, she would pop an olive into her mouth with obvious pleasure.

I think food should be enjoyed that way, without so many worries and restrictions. Not that people have to go around wearing olives on their fingers, but at least occasionally it would be good to relax a little.

Think of a would-be hostess, trying to plan a dinner party. Do the Colsons eat meat? No. What about seafood? Peggy doesn't eat gluten. Glenn is concerned about leaky gut, whatever that is. I hope he doesn't talk about it at the table. Genny will eat beef, but only if it is local and grass fed. Deanne allows herself chocolate, but only dark chocolate. Lester and Janine won't touch carbs at all. Maybe I'll just see if Biff wants to stop by. He'll eat what's put in front of him.

You could go out to dinner in Lake Placid for Valentine's Day, weather permitting.

As we all know, asking what the weather is going to do is a joke here in the Adirondacks. We do it anyway. We just can't help it. We really want to know. We watch Tom Messner's NBC report on Channel 5, we go to on our cellphones and iPads and we watch the storms, displayed in graduated color bands indicating type and intensity of precip, as they proceed across the USA from the West to the East. If it's accuracy we want, though, we might as well look out the window.

My daughter and her family now live in California, where there has recently been more rain than usual. Still, we wouldn't call it rain. "Call that rain?" we'd say.

Say you are a weather person in Southern California. All you have to do, day after day, is report "Sunny and temperate today, with clear skies overnight," and you will be right most of the time.

Weathermen and weatherwomen on California television look glamorous and confident. They don't look as if they are accustomed to wearing a lot of bulky underwear and layering outer garments, or as if they have just been desperately battling hat hair after running into the building to take another stab at forecasting the weather. They don't even know what hat hair is.

Some people say Valentine's Day is nothing but a Hallmark holiday, invented by the greeting card industry as a means to rake in even more money. The Hallmark Corporation greedily goes after our heartstrings in order to open our purse strings.

Yes, as Mitt Romney once pointed out, corporations are people, too, and very avaricious people at that.

Children enjoy Valentine's Day. So do teenage girls and many women, but I'm not so sure about grown men. Again, it's the feeling manipulated thing.

"I don't like being expected to buy Valentine's Day (Mother's Day, anniversary, birthday, etc.) cards and presents," runs the usual skeptic complaint. "I prefer to give cards and presents spontaneously, as the spirit moves me." Blah blah.

Right. And when will that be? You realize, don't you, you are just being churlish? Knock it off and pick up some flowers. Take my word for it, it will go easier on you in the long run.

Heartstrings, purse strings, no strings attached. Happy Valentine's Day.

You'll get through it.

Have a good week.



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